Alexandru Mitrita runs wild vs. Atlanta United, grabs first-half hat trick

Heading into New York City FC's home match Wednesday night against Atlanta UnitedAlexandru Mitrita had nine goals and three assists. A decent return for the Designated Player, but the Romanian saved his best game yet for Week 30.

The forward bagged a first-half hat trick inside of 34 minutes – all with his right foot. Mitrita is now on 12 goals for the year, giving his side a 3-0 halftime lead. His team would go on to win the match 4-1.

The opener came in the 14th minute, as Mitrita cut onto his right and curled home a beauty to the far-side. Then in the 23rd minute, Mitrita collected a long switch from Maxi Moralez, eventually cutting inside and finishing to the near post past Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan. Surging with confidence, the 24-year-old added his third after Ismael Tajouri-Shradi's blast was parried away by Guzan. The former Universitatea Craiova man was there to clean up the extras in the 34th minute.

The outburst also came as NYCFC welcomed Heber back to the 18-man lineup after a long injury spell on the sidelines.

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More good news could be on its way as they moved closer to clinching the No. 1 seed in the East and the Round One bye in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs that comes with it. 

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